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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Institute for Public Accuracy (IPA)
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167
Congress to Condemn Goldstone Report on Gaza?
"Headed by Justice Richard Goldstone, a former judge of the Constitutional Court of South Africa and Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, the U.N. report found that evidence indicates both Israel and Hamas committed war crimes during Israel's 22-day assault on the Gaza Strip, dubbed 'Operation Cast Lead,' which began on December 27, 2008.
"The report recommended that allegations of war crimes by both parties be investigated."
The United Nations General Assembly is expected to take up the Goldstone report on Wednesday.
AMIRA HASS, via Anthony Arnove
Currently in the U.S., Hass recently received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Women's Media Foundation. She is a regular columnist with Israel's Ha'aretz newspaper and is the only Israeli journalist to have spent several years living in and reporting from Gaza and the West Bank. She is the author of Drinking the Sea at Gaza: Days and Nights in a Land under Siege.
She said today: "The Goldstone report asks Israel to open an independent inquiry to the allegations [of war crimes], and if, within six months, there is no sufficient or satisfying response from Israel -- and Hamas, for that matter -- it can be transferred to the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. ... The report forced Israel to look at testimonies and evidence that was there all the time, but it was very easy to ignore. ... Its significance is that the sense of impunity of Israel, with all its conduct vis-Ã -vis the Palestinians, can be ended." See a recent interview.
Hass's previous books include Reporting from Ramallah: An Israeli Journalist in an Occupied Land and writing the foreword to her mother's Diary of Bergen-Belson, 1944-1945.
Rizk is currently in New York City, touring the U.S. with his new documentary "This Palestinian Life," which "tells the stories of the nonviolent perseverance of Palestinian villagers to remain on their land."
He lived in Gaza for two years from 2005 to 2007 working with various NGOs and media companies. In February 2009, he was kidnapped by Egyptian state security for participating in nonviolent, Gaza-related protests; see New York Times article "Van Spirits Away Protester in Egypt, Signaling Crackdown on Criticism Over Gaza."
Rizk said today: "The events following the Goldstone report are a classical case of the failure of international law in situations like that of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Judge Goldstone is as legitimate of an individual to have authored such a report and thus the opposition has been forced to find other methods of undermining it. Israeli officials' suggestions of 're-launching' the peace talks as an alternative to respecting the UN report is a red herring that distracts the attention from where it should be. Avoiding dealing with past and present war crimes and injustices reduces any chances for change in the region."
See video "Goldstone challenges U.S. over Gaza report"
See "Goldstone Tells Congress That Resolution Misrepresents His Gaza Report"